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J236 - Wednesday, June 9: 10km before Töre - Boden

74.08km  –10H20’
Altitude : 50m
Our new friend Lennart was waiting this morning at 7:00 to see Serge off.  The time to take a photo and off we went.  We want to thank him for his warm welcome, which has given us a very positive view of Sweden and the Swedes.  Here, everyone speaks English, even the elderly, which was not always the case in Finland, like at home.  Lennart, who is 61, speaks Swedish, fluent English and German!
Before Renea on the E4, we were met by the newspaper and TV from the region of Norbotten.  They came from Lulea and were alerted by Lennart of Serge’s presence in the area.  The highway, with its narrow shoulders and traffic did not lend itself to a long interview.  This road is obviously not meant for our caravan and it is without regret that we leave the E4, with its kilometers of wire fencing (very useful for keeping elk off the road) which gave us the impression of being in a cage.  We are under the impression that the main roads don’t reflect the soul of the country, of which we don’t see anything.  It is as if a foreigner were to see France from the toll roads.
My first choice was to follow the E4 along the coast of the Baltic, in order to take advantage of the good air, the seaside camping sites and lighter traffic, since we are in the north of Sweden which is the 3rd largest country in area, after France and Germany.  Sweden has 9 million inhabitants (compared to 66 million in France), so the density is 20 inhabitants per square km, i.e., slightly more than Finland.  Like its neighbor, the population is dense in the south.  Once again the reality of the situation shows us that this itinerary is not good for comfortable running and we are going to have to go inland to reach Stockholm.
Serge’s face is twisted in determination.  Instead of being smooth, his stride is short and rough and his body is all tense.  The soles of his shoes scrape the asphalt as if he were being sucked down by a force coming from deep in the earth.  He has lost height and is all bent over.  There is nothing that makes you want to say more.  The team leaves Serge in peace to look for harmony that is difficult to find today.
But at dinner Serge’s humor returns and in front of a good beer he does a rather realistic imitation of me in the camper giving commands for changes in direction!

Town : Boden

GPS : N 65.48’92.3° E 021.35’15.5°